An Overview of James

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently returned from a trip to India during which I had quite a few opportunities to teach and preach from God’s word. One of those opportunities was provided by a Bible conference held at Good Samaritan Primitive Baptist Church (the church at which our friend Guna is the pastor – see this link for more info about Guna). The conference was well-attended by various preachers and members from nearby churches. Having recently completed a Bible study through the book of James at my home church, I decided to re-format some of my notes and use them for the Bible conference. Here is the basic outline I created:

  • Faith
    • In Response to Trials (1:1-12)
    • In Response to the Word (1:13-27)
    • Without Partiality (2:1-13)
    • With Good Works (2:14-26)
  • Repentance
    • From Sinful Speech (3:1-12)
    • From Selfish Strife (3:13-4:10)
    • From Slanderous Judgment (4:11-12)
    • From Presumptuous Boasting (4:13-17)
  • Patience
    • In Anticipation of Judgment (5:1-11)
    • In Keeping Promises (5:12)
    • In Prayer (5:13-18)
    • In Exhortation (5:19-20)

As indicated by the outline, I focused on what James says about the nature of true faith, our need to repent from a self-centered lifestyle, and our need for patience as we live the Christian life. This is certainly not the only way to outline the Epistle of James, but I believe this particular outline is helpful from a teaching perspective while remaining faithful to the content and purpose of the epistle. While studying the Epistle of James, I’ve enjoyed reading commentaries by Moo and Motyer amongst other standard references.

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